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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

166

AMERICAN   ANTEATERS

SUB-OBDEK  1.     XENARTHKA.

Fam. 1 Myrmecophagidae.—The family Myrmecophagidae
contains three genera, all South American in range. These
genera MyrmecopJiaga, Tamandua, and Cydoturiis, agree greatly
in their outward form. They are all without teeth, and have
long snouts and long protrusihle tongues. The fur is thick, and
they have powerful claws wherewith to break down the strong
ant-hills upon whose inhabitants they feed. Tamandun and
Cydotu<n<s are arboreal, Myrmecoph'tga is terrestrial in habit.

The claws  of the  arboreal forms are useful to destroy the bark,  ,
and thus bring to light insects which lurk in such situations.          I
The genus Myrmecopliaga contains but one species, the Great
Anteater, Myrmecopliaga. jubata. It is a large and handsome
animal, with long, shaggy, greyish-black hair and a broad white
stripe across the shoulder. The coloration is similar in the two sexes.
Including the long and bushy tail it reaches a length of over
7 feet. It is on account of its long tongue and greatly developed
salivary glands that this and the allied genera were originally
placed with Manis. It is the submaxillary glands which are so
enormous; they extend back over the chest, and open by three
distinct ducts, of which two unite just before the external oriiice.